Looking for a non-toxic, eco-friendly, sensory-friendly seating option for kids of all abilities?
Then the EnviroKid™ cushion would be a great option to consider!
We have been trying out two of the EnviroKid™ cushions at the JD McCarty Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities in OMazing Kids Yoga, in a Storytime group and as an adapted seating option.
Key features of the cushion:
- PVC-Free and Phthalate-Free EnviroKid™ Cushion is available in a variety of soothing colors.
- The outer covering is EnviroLeather, PVC-Free Synthetic Leather® which is engineered to:
- adjust to your child’s body temperature quickly
- stand up to even the most “active” of children
- be cleaned easily
- 26”x 26” dimensions.
The uses for the EnviroKid™ cushion in a kids yoga studio setting are wonderfully described in a post by Childlight Yoga (http://www.thekidsyogaresource.com/2011/08/envirokid-cushions-a-zafu-for-kids-and-a-whole-lot-more.html). So rather that duplicate that information, I am focusing my review on the additional therapeutic uses for this cushion.
The unique properties of the EnviroKid™ cushion are difficult to describe….. but after sitting on it you will see what makes it very different from any other cushion or bean bag chair. You gently sink in and the beads in the cushion conform around you and then remain in place to provide a nice feeling of support. The non-toxic, eco-friendly aspects of the cushion are especially important when working with kids with special needs as they tend to be more sensitive or susceptible to environmental toxins.
Brittany H., one of our Physical Therapists, was amazed at how well the EnviroKid™ cushion supported one of her patients… “A child I see frequently has been working on trunk control. He has spastic quadriplegia and requires maximal assistance to maintain an upright position at the edge of a mat table with his feet supported on a bench. He loses his sitting balance after only a few seconds when manual support is removed. I have been using the EnviroKid™ cushion during our last few sessions. The cushion provides enough support to allow him to sit independently for 1-2 minutes at a time while still challenging his trunk control. He was able to use his dominant hand to play with a toy while sitting independently. I love the way the cushion forms around his pelvis, giving just enough support to provide independence while still requiring trunk righting responses and engaging core muscles for strengthening and control”.
One of our Speech-Language Pathologists used the cushion with a patient whose disabilities are secondary to Shaken Baby Syndrome. His grandmother was so excited about how well he sat in the EnviroKid™ cushion that she indicated she is going to see if his school will order one so he can sit on the floor with the other kids.
Given my observations of kids reactions to the EnviroKid™ cushion, it is likely that kids with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) would enjoy sitting on the cushion because it conforms around you, has a soft suede-like surface, is lower to the ground than a typical beanbag chair & is odor-free (no chemical-like odor like many beanbag chairs have).
One of the EnviroKid™ cushions has been out for general use in our very busy rehab treatment area and after several weeks of use has not shown any signs of wear…. A good sign since the kids we work with can tend to be tough on stuff.
The price of the EnviroKid™ cushion ($57.95) may be a little high if folks think it is just an eco-friendly pillow or beanbag chair alternative…. but it’s a good price compared to yoga zafu cushions or when compared to therapeutic adapted seating options.
The EnviroKid™ cushion is available for ordering on their website: http://myenvirokid.com/envirokid-cushion/
For more info about the dangers of PVC, BPA, Phthalates, etc…. read this: http://myenvirokid.com/why-pvc-free-phthalate-free/
A YouTube video about the Info about the EnviroLeather material used to make the EnviroKid™ cushions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSUDI24wn-8
Disclaimer: I received two free EnviroKid™ cushions to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are my own based on direct observations and feedback that I received regarding their use.
Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2
Speech-Language Pathologist with 21 years of pediatric experience
Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2
Founder of OMazing Kids Yoga – inclusive yoga for kids & teens of all abilities
JDMC Website: www.jdmc.org